Barts Health NHS Trust to come out of special measures

Author: Ingrid Torjesen

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recommended to NHS Improvement that London’s Barts Health NHS Trust should be taken out of special measures.

A team of inspectors from CQC visited the trust in September and October 2018 to carry out a comprehensive inspection, and the inspectors found that sufficient progress had been made. CQC also looked specifically at management and leadership to answer the key question: Is the trust well-led?

Overall the trust remains ‘Requires Improvement’ for the quality of its services. However, it is rated ‘Good’ for being effective, caring and well-led. It is rated ‘Requires Improvement’ for being safe and responsive to people’s needs. 

CQC has also published the trust’s Use of Resources report, which is based on an assessment undertaken by NHS Improvement. The trust has been rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ for using its resources productively.

In November 2015, CQC rated the trust as ‘Inadequate’ overall because of concerns relating to patient safety, the organisational culture and governance throughout the organisation.

Barts provides care across five sites in east London. In its September and October inspections, the CQC highlighted concerns over bullying at Whipps Cross A&E department and it rated Newham hospital’s maternity service as ‘Inadequate’ overall for a range of safety concerns, issuing a warning notice to the trust.

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Edward Baker, said: “I am pleased to report that Barts Health NHS Trust has made real, consistent progress.”

He added: “Credit must go to the leadership team at the trust and to the commitment and hard work of all the staff. I congratulate them on what they have achieved. While the overall rating remains ‘Requires Improvement’ there has been substantial improvement in the quality of services at the trust and I am happy to recommend that it is removed from special measures."

“However, there are still areas that require attention, particularly maternity services at Newham. We will return later this year to check that the improvements we have required have taken place. I would be disappointed if we find that the trust has not continued to make further progress.”

Picture: Newham University Hospital